Great Books Just Keep Coming...
Spring is always a big time for publishers to release new titles and this spring does not disappoint.
Here are a few bookseller suggestions to whet your appetite!
Fall of Man in Wilmslow by David Lagercrantz
Joanne and Jayne are both excited to read this one. The book tells the disturbing tale of Alan Turing's suicide and the circumstances that led to it through the eyes of the young detective constable who was instructed to "look into it." It's a blend of historical biography and police procedural. Lagercrantz is the Swedish author who wrote The Girl in The Spider's Web - a sequel in the Stieg Larssen Millenium series.
Another favorite is The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth Church. Here's the review that Joanne wrote for the publisher: "From the very first pages of The Atomic Weight of Love, the reader is led into the story of a woman who lived that unsettled time between WWII and the Vietnam War. This is a part of our history that is rarely well told and never as compelling as this artful debut. This book is about one woman during an important time in our history, yet it questions today’s feminist thinking, identity, and what most of us do - war or not - for love. This is an extraordinary story."
Now in paper is Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart. This is a delightful mystery (#1 in a series) based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.
An absolutely delightful experience is a new book titled Tom Adams, Uncovered. The book tells the story of one of the world’s greatest cover artists told through his iconic 1960s and 1970s Agatha Christie paperback designs. The Agatha Christie covers painted by Tom Adams constitutes probably the most famous body of paperback art ever produced by a single artist
Here are a few others Joanne doesn't want you to miss:
Better Dead by Max Allan Collins (hard cover)
Midnight In Berlin by James MacManus (hard cover)
Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl (trade paper)
Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (trade paper)
Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna (trade paper)
Victoria wants you to know that she loved Coffee in Greece by our very own bookseller, Andrea Potos. Victoria says that it's like having a quiet morning in a favorite cafe.
Andrea loved The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels - The magical adventures of an eccentric Mary Poppins-esque heroine and her flying feline charges is sure to charm readers big and small.
Andrea also enjoyed Chicago by Brian Doyle - a coming-of-age story and an 'I love Chicago' love story!
Tom recommends The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie King. A fascinating look at Mrs. Hudson in spite of the title... This is an interesting twist on the Sherlock Holmes tale and it takes the reader on quite a raucous ride though uncharted territory.
Tom also enjoyed Death Along the River Fleet the latest novel by Susanna Calkins. This is a fun, light read for the summer - a story of a young servant girl turned printer apprentice during England's restoration period.
Jayne doesn't want you to miss the Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards (now in paperback). This is the first book written about the Detective Club which counted among its members writers such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers during the period between the wars. If you think it's just about poisons and knitting, it's not. Edwards was awarded the 2016 Edgar for this work of nonfiction.
Jayne also wants to be sure to point out the new book entitled We Will Not be Silent; The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Hitler by Russell Freedman and Laura Williams McCaffery. This book is both a biography of Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie throughout the growing student movement against Hitler.
And for a change of pace....Jayne suggests looking into Dear County Agent Guy: Calf Pulling, Husband Training and Other Curious Dispatches from a Midwestern Dairy Farmer by Jerry Nelson. This is a hilarious collection of Jerry columns from various farming magazines. He's been compared to Garrison Keillor, Mark Twain and Jean Shepherd.
Dennis Palumbo: The Mystery to Me Interview
By Doug Moe
Many years ago, a major magazine – it may have been Esquire – had a cover photograph of a monkey sitting at a typewriter beside a backyard swimming pool that appeared to be in Beverly Hills.
The cover copy read, “Is Anyone in America Not Writing a Screenplay?” The implication was clear: Who wouldn’t want to write for the movies?
Once upon a time, Dennis Palumbo not only wanted to be a screenwriter, he was among the fortunate few to actually become one. He wrote for television and then got a credit for the outstanding Peter O’Toole film comedy, “My Favorite Year.”
Palumbo also – like many Hollywood creative types – eventually found himself in therapy. That’s where this story takes a turn.
"I went into therapy and fell in love with the process,” Palumbo said recently, by phone from southern California.
Palumbo went back to school, and became a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in patients with creative concerns. He also continued writing – his advice column in the monthly journal of the Writers Guild of America, West was enormously popular.
A half dozen years ago, Palumbo detoured again, this time into crime fiction. His 2010 novel, Mirror Image, introduced Daniel Rinaldi, a Pittsburgh psychologist who consults with that city’s police department and consequently finds himself involved in all manner of mayhem. There are now four titles in the Rinaldi series, with the most recent, “Phantom Limb,” having been published last fall.
Palumbo’s varied career path has among other things made him savvy in the ways of publicity, and when he got in touch with Mystery to Me, volunteering to be interviewed for the newsletter, I jumped at the chance.
“My Favorite Year” is one of my favorite movies. There’s a scene in which the Peter O’Toole character, a swashbuckling actor named Alan Swann, finds himself hanging by his fingertips from the balcony of a swank apartment.
Two self-important party-goers are on the balcony, and one says, “I think Alan Swann is beneath us.” The other replies, “Of course he’s beneath us. He’s an actor.”
It’s one of my favorite lines in all the movies. I repeated it to Palumbo, who humbly said it was not among his contributions to the film. It was refreshing to find not a trace of high self-regard in Palumbo’s discussion of his Hollywood years. But then, he also wrote for “The Love Boat.
Palumbo is originally from Pittsburgh – the setting for his Rinaldi mysteries – and attended the University of Pittsburgh, thinking he would be an engineer. A stint on the school paper led to a writing degree and a job in advertising. One day Palumbo looked around and realized that what all his colleagues really wanted to do – like the monkey on the Esquire cover – was write movie scripts.
Unlike most, Palumbo decided to give it a real shot, moving to Los Angeles in 1975. His scripts went nowhere, but he had success writing jokes for comedians, including Gabe Kaplan and Garry Shandling. (When we spoke, Palumbo was still expressing shock over Shandling’s recent death, and planning to go to the memorial service in a few days.)
His association with Kaplan led to a staff writing job on “Welcome Back, Kotter,” and that in turn opened more doors. Before too long, the allure of the entertainment industry faded. As someone once said, behind all that phony tinsel is real tinsel. Or as Palumbo told the Los Angeles Times, of his decision to begin volunteering with schizophrenics at a private psychiatric hospital, “I’d had great training because I had worked with studio executives.”
The critically acclaimed Rinaldi series draws on Palumbo’s Pittsburgh upbringing and his later work in psychotherapy. The character resembles his creator: Italian-American, Pittsburgh-bred, a fan of jazz and the Steelers. One difference: more dead bodies show up in Rinaldi’s world.
Palumbo describes his writing process as finding his way as he goes. He eschews outlines. “I don’t know who the villain is,” he said. “I just start with a vision in my head.” It can lead to false turns in his first drafts.
“But sometimes,” Palumbo notes, “a false turn is where interesting things happen.
He gets back to Pittsburgh about once a year, he said, and finds the former industrial city profoundly changed since his youth. It’s about high tech and world-class medicine now. He needs to pay attention. His readers let him know if, for instance, he has a one-way street going in the wrong direction.
Palumbo wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s a fifth Rinaldi book in the works, and talk of a possible television series featuring the character. They won’t have to look far for a screenwriter.
May and Early June Events
Wednesday, May 4 - 7pm
Patricia Skalka (Door County Mysteries) and M.E. May (Circle City Mysteries) are interviewed by Doug Moe
Friday, May 5 - 7 pm
Con Lehane discusses his new mystery Murder at the 42nd Street Library
Saturday, May 6 - 1pm
Elly Griffths talks with us via Skype from the UK about her newest Ruth Galloway mystery, The Woman in Blue
Sunday, May 8 - Mother's Day
We're closed to celebrate moms everywhere!
Tuesday, May 10 - 7 pm
In Search of America - a rough cut screening of a film by Marc Kornblatt
RSVP suggested - here's a link to Eventbrite
Wednesday, May 11 - 5:30 pm
Madison Writers' Studio
Teen writers read from their work. Public is welcome.
Monday, May 16 - 11:30 to 1:30
MGE Innovation Center - UW Research Park
Kathleen Gallagher and Mark Johnson discuss One in a Billion - The Story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Genomic Medicine
RSVP appreciated - here is the link to Eventbrite
Note: Kathleen and Mark will also discuss their book at Mystery to Me on Thursday, June 9 at 7pm
Friday, May 20 - 7pm
NYT Best-selling author Mary Kubica is here to discuss her new suspense novel Don't You Cry
Saturday, May 21 - 7:30 am
Walk for Dyslexia -- there is still time to join the Mystery to Me Team. Click here to register now!
Sunday, May 22 -- 1 to 6 pm
Dane Buy Local Spring Celebration -- Click here to learn more!
Sunday, May 22 - 3pm
Agatha Christie Book Club Meets
Tuesday, May 24 - 6:30 pm
Local poets presentThe Doll Collection
Susan Elbe, Robin Chapman, Alison Townsend and Andrea Potos will be here to read from the collection.
Friday, June 3 - 7pm
Fermat's Last Theater presents a preview of their upcoming performance Franz Kafka’s The Trial, adapted by Alex Hancock. The preview takes place at Mystery to Me.
Saturday, June 4 - 6pm
Ann Garvin launches her new book I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
184 Main Street in Stoughton, Wisconsin
Sunday, June 5 - 12:30 pm
History's Mysteries Book Club
Poor Tom's Club by Maureen Jennings
Thursday, June 9 - 7pm
Kathleen Gallagher and Mark Johnson discuss their new book, One in a Billion: The Story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Genomic Medicine
Saturday, June 11 - 1pm
Rebecca Behrens discusses her new book Summer of Lost and Found
Events scheduled into October! Check our website for current information.